The greatly anticipated 2017 MLS expansion side, Atlanta United FC, has taken another huge step towards hitting the pitch next spring. On Tuesday the club announced former Barcelona and Argentina national team manager, Gerardo "Tata" Martino, will serve as the first-ever head coach of AUFC.
Martino's pedigree as both a player and successful manager is impressive to say the least. Fans of his primary club, Newell's Old Boys, named the Argentinian "best player in club history." As a coach he has lead his teams to titles in Argentina and Paraguay. Behind the reins of the Paraguayan national team he reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010 (the countries best effort in the tournament), and followed that performance with an appearance in the 2011 Copa America finals. He also lead Argentina to back to back Copa America finals (2015 & 2016), before stepping down from his post in July.
Bringing on a manager with Martino's successful history and experience is not only exciting news for Atlanta as they head into their inaugural season, but equally exciting for the league. Attracting managers of Martino's caliber to the MLS is critical to elevating the league into global legitimacy. The signing of such a prestigious coach in the height of his career is a great sign that the league is evolving and continuing to improve.
Atlanta United will be holding a press conference to officially introduce Martino to the media, tomorrow Wednesday September, 27th at 10 a.m. ET.